Programming languages: Objective-C slides down the popularity rankings – TechRepublic

by in Developer on April 6, 2021, 4:45 AM PST

Objective-C was the language used for OS X and iOS development before the arrival of Swift in 2014.

Image: iStock/SARINYAPINNGAM

Swift predecessor Objective-C has finally dropped out of the top 20 programming languages in TIOBE’s index for April 2021.

Objective-C, the general-purpose programming language that was used for OS X and iOS development in the earlier days of Apple, enjoyed high spots in the TIOBE index until 2014, and was listed for language of the year award in 2011 and 2012: all applications for Apple’s iPhones were then written in Objective-C. 

Then the Swift programming language arrived on the scene to replace it.

Objective-C’s popularity waned in the years following, although it took some time for Swift to climb up the ranks and become more popular than its predecessor. Objective-C has gradually fallen down the TIOBE index since then, yet only fell out of the top 20 most popular programming languages this month.

Swift also continues to decline in popularity, however. April’s TIOBE Index sees the programming language drop to 15th place, down from 11th place in April 2020. The index is updated once a month and is designed to provide an indicator of the popularity of programming languages, based on both search engine rankings and the number of software engineers, vendors and courses specializing in each language.

Python, meanwhile, continues to gain popularity within the burgeoning data science and artificial intelligence/machine learning spaces.

Elsewhere, C retained the top spot in the April 2021 Index, followed by Java, Python, C++ and C#. This remains unchanged since February 2021.

Visual Basic and JavaScript also stayed put, coming in 6th and 7th place respectively. Assembly language shuffled past both PHP and SQL to snag the number eight spot, with PHP following in 9th and SQL in 10th.

SEE: Top 5 programming languages for systems admins to learn (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Rounding out the top 20 were Classic Visual Basic, Delphi/Object Pascal, Ruby, Go, Swift, R, Groovy, Perl, MATLAB, and – in somewhat of a surprise return to the top 20 – Fortran, a “dinosaur” by all accounts, according to TIOBE, in that it is considered “the first commercial programming language ever,” having first emerged in the 1950s.

According to a January survey by programmer training company, CodinGame, JavaScript, Java and Python are among the most sought-after programming languages from hiring managers when recruiting new developers.

JavaScript remains a staple in both front- and back-end web development, while Java’s ongoing popularity owes to its wide use within desktop and mobile computing, particularly within Android development.